Search

Tuesday, December 5

Raising a Child with a Disability

It is getting rather late this evening, and I have had a long day. I thought I would share this with you tonight. We have been given many articles and stories regarding Drew's hearing loss, but this one has stuck with me. It is entitled "The Beauty of Holland" and was written by Emily Pearl Kingsley:

"I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful vacation plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very, very exciting!

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The flight attendant comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland??" you say. "What do you mean, Holland? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a while new group of people that you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you have been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't go to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland."

My husband and I read this together, and as I cried he simply turned to me and said, "But I think we can still go to Italy." He could not be more right.

1 comment:

Jennie D said...

What a beautiful and poetic way of describing life. It's so true and you're right, Italy is definitely within your reach.